Rubenstein: Adam Hadwin destined for PGA Tour
Published on Friday, May. 24, 2013 09:43PM EDT Last updated on Monday, Oct. 29, 2012 07:43AM EDT
Given the way Adam Hadwin performed in the final tournament of the year on the Web.com Tour, and in Sunday's last round in particular, there’s every reason to believe the Abbotsford, B.C. golfer will make it to the PGA Tour soon.
Hadwin, who will turn 25 on Nov. 2nd, started the Web.com Tour Championship in McKinney, Tex. needing to win or tie for second to win a PGA Tour card for next season. He needed to move from 48th on the money list into the top 25. He shot six-under-par 65 in the last round and was in 25th place until James Hahn birdied the final hole to finish second in the tournament and win enough money to knock Hadwin back to a tie for third in the tournament, three shots behind winner Justin Bolli, and 30th place on the money list. Hadwin won $58,000 in the tournament, and $168,713 for the season.
Meanwhile, he had done just about what he needed to do to become a full-time PGA Tour player next year. Hadwin didn’t make a bogey in the final round. The only scar on his clean card came after he hit a beautiful drive on the par-four, 292-yard 14th hole that put him on the green with a twisting eagle putt. With water left of the green, Hadwin had hit a perfect drive when he needed to play aggressive, but still smart, golf. That’s never an easy task.
Hadwin’s eagle putt appeared to break at least six feet left to right. He came up about four feet short and right of the hole, and then missed his birdie putt. His chances of finishing in the top 25 appeared over, but he continued to play hard and hit a tremendous drive on the par-five final hole, and then a hybrid that ran just over the green. He was a bit disappointed in the shot, which only goes to show that he was playing without fear or anxiety.
His eagle putt from the fringe ran three feet past the hole. He poured the birdie putt in as if he were playing a casual game with pals rather than for his PGA Tour card. Hadwin signed his scorecard to seal a tournament in which he shot 69-69-68-65 for a 13-under-par total of 271. Now he had to wait to see what unfolded.
Hadwin checked his phone to see where he stood, and tried to ascertain the possibilities in the unfolding scenarios. He had congratulated his fellow Canadian Brad Fritsch, who had shot 69 in the last round to finish with eight-under 276, tie for ninth and end his season in 18th on the money list with $212,168. Fritsch was headed for the PGA Tour, but for the moment he stood near the 18th green with Hadwin to see whether his friend would join him there next year.
It wasn’t to be, as Hahn hit a beautiful long pitch shot from the rough right of the green on the par-five 18th within a couple of feet of the hole to push Hadwin out of the top 25 group; Hahn finished second in the tournament and fifth on the money list. Hadwin had class and dignity enough to applaud Hahn’s shot. He also had plenty to be proud of. Canadians have been aware of his abilities for some time. Hadwin tied for fourth at the 2011 RBC Canadian Open and tied for seventh in the PGA Tour’s Frys.com Open later in the season. He can really play.
In the end, it’s not as if Hadwin didn’t gain something important off his play in the Web.com Tour Championship. He not only won $58,000, but his move from 48th to 30th on the money list means he won’t have to play the second stage of the PGA Tour’s qualifying school. Players who finished 26th-40th on the money list are exempt into the six-round final stage Nov. 28-Dec. 3rd at PGA West in La Quinta, Calif.
That tournament is a bit of a lottery, but Hadwin’s class and confidence could and perhaps should tell over the 108-hole final stage. He didn’t make it to the 2013 PGA Tour via his place on the Web.com’s money list, but he’s still in with a chance. His determined play when he needed to come up big, but came up just short, provides reason to believe he’s destined for the PGA Tour.
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Lorne Rubenstein has written a golf column for The Globe and Mail since 1980. He has played golf since the early 1960s and was the Royal Canadian Golf Association’s first curator of its museum and library at the Glen Abbey Golf Club in Oakville, Ontario and the first editor of Score, Canada’s Golf Magazine, where he continues to write a column and features. He has won four first-place awards from the Golf Writers Association of America, one National Magazine Award in Canada, and he won the award for the best feature in 2009 from the Golf Journalists Association of Canada. Lorne has written 12 books, including Mike Weir: The Road to the Masters (2003); A Disorderly Compendium of Golf, with Jeff Neuman (2006); This Round’s on Me (2009); and the latest Moe & Me: Encounters with Moe Norman, Golf’s Mysterious Genius (2012). He is a member of the Ontario Golf Hall of Fame and the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame. Lorne can be reached at email@example.com . You can now follow him on Twitter @lornerubenstein